Leadership in Residential Child Care

A relationship-based approach

Adrian Ward 

Leadership Book

Smokehouse Press, Norwich


When still in his mid-twenties, Adrian Ward was appointed to run a large residential home for troubled young children in London. It was a time of enormous challenge and deep learning, as he discovered some hard-won truths not only about needy children and their families but also about life in general – and leadership in particular.

In this book he analyzes the task and dynamics of leadership, based partly on his own experience in the role but also on his extensive later work as a lecturer and staff consultant with many other residential staff and leaders. The book is full of gripping incidents and extraordinary – occasionally bizarre – situations, and the ideas discussed are made highly accessible by Adrian’s personal and sometimes humorous style.

The whole thing is underpinned by a deep concern for the psychological well-being of a group of deeply unhappy and confused young people, and although the book is focused primarily on the residential context, it also has profound lessons for the leadership task in many other settings.


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